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Turkish president accuses U.S. of ‘clearly’ supporting Kurdish forces

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On Monday, after the U.S. State Department published a statement decrying the killing of 13 Turkish civilians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the department of “clearly” supporting Kurdish militants, according to The Hill.

“The United States deplores the death of Turkish citizens in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” the State Department said in the statement, saying that “[w]e stand with our NATO Ally Turkey.” However, the department noted that “[i]f reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK,” a Kurdish militant group labeled as a terrorist organization by Turkey, “are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”

As The Hill pointed out, Reuters reported Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield, was summoned to the Turkish capital of Ankara while Erdoğan went after the State Department’s comments in an impassioned speech.

“Now there is a statement made by the United States. It’s a joke. Were you not supposed to stand against the PKK, the YPG? You clearly support them and stand behind them,” Erdoğan said in a speech delivered in the city of Rize, according to Reuters.

Following the deaths of the 13 Turkish civilians, Turkey detained over 700 individuals, including members of a pro-Kurdish political party, the country’s Interior Ministry said Monday, according to Reuters.

In December, toward the end of his term in office, then-President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey over the country buying a Russian missile defense system, after the Trump administration faced criticism for delaying sanctions on Turkey for months, as The Hill noted.

Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have become strained in recent years, as the two NATO allies’ interests in the Middle East have clashed more and more, especially in Syria and Iraq, where the U.S. has backed Kurdish groups.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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